Pelham house boasts 60,000 Christmas lights

Published 1:35 pm Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Phillips family on Red Fox Drive in Pelham have nearly 60,000 Christmas lights in their yard and on their house. (Contributed)

The Phillips family on Red Fox Drive in Pelham have nearly 60,000 Christmas lights in their yard and on their house. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham residents David and Barbara Phillips originally had plans to scale back their massive Christmas light display off Red Fox Drive this year.

So much for those plans.

After plenty of encouragement – and help – from their family members over the past few months, the Phillips have not only matched their past displays, but have added several thousand new lights to the monstrous Christmas setup.

“It’s close to 60,000 lights right now,” David Phillips said on Dec. 11. “I’ve got 15 circuits just for lights, and I think it’s about as big as it can get without adding more.”

For the past eight years, the Phillips have illuminated their cul-de-sac on Red Fox drive with the radiant glow of tens of thousands of lights, inflatables and other Christmas-themed items.

Over the years, the family has racked up hefty December power bills, and the setup time for the display has grown with each new item added.

“It gets expensive. They were actually going to scale it back this year, but we all said ‘No, you can’t do that,’” Barbara Phillips’ daughter, Kristie Landry, said. “They had all these new things they bought right after Christmas last year when everything was on sale.”

The past two years, Landry and her brother and their families pitched in to help with the display’s setup and its associated power bill.

“Kristie is very good at arranging everything. We just have to get it all out and then she decides where everything goes,” David Phillips said. “(Landry’s husband) Tom and I got up on the roof and did the lights up there.”

In addition to a roof resembling Clark Griswold’s house from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” the family also added an arbor with a seat for photos, more lighted palm trees, penguins, mice and much more.

The rainy weather in early December has kept spectator numbers low so far, but Phillips said he expects to soon see a steady stream of visitors basking in the festive glow.

“They just love Christmas. It’s their favorite time of the year,” Landry said.

To get to the Phillips’ Christmas display, turn onto Shelby County 72 from Shelby County 35, turn left onto Hunters Trace at the first stop sign and then turn left onto Red Fox Drive.